Skip to main content

Reply to this post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 11, 2010 2:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: CREAM vs the DEAD

No, not in a straight up contest, but rather, a gentlemanly comparison, shall we? LiA's post, and comments shared over the years have led me to this comparison myself, though I have done it many times over in my head alone with my stereo...

However, recent discussions, and the opportunity to play some shows for visitors (yes, elb, mostly family, BUT some "disinterested/objective" parties as well) this past 24 hrs has prompted this post...

Now, for JOTS and now, apparently Lou D, these comments may be old hat, and less than likely to impress, given we've chatted a bit about JBruce and my love for him, but that is provided as a preliminary for what follows that may not set well with you (or others that don't consider him one of the greats). I will assume for arguments sake that no one questions EClapton's place among the top five, and for Gawd's sake, I've never heard anyone question GBaker sitting atop the heap or at least close to it...

So, the basic question put to individuals, while listening to the Oct show, 1967 (15th I believe, one of the best live CREAM shows), with a few of the commercially available tracks thrown in from Mar, 68 (eg, on Live Cream or whatever it's called, and Wheels of Fire: the West coast shows from Winterland/Fillmore [I believe]), relative to my random selection of the following DEAD jams (selected songs only, like OOne, Eleven, DS, DDHNM--you get the idea) from Oct and Dec 68 (guess which ones?!), and then Feb, Mar and Apr 69...

Here's the bottom line. All, and I mean all agreed: CREAM won hands down. Now, I argued various lines of disagreement: greater variety on the part of the DEAD; better improvisation/exploration among jams; greater fullness of musical instrumentation given the keybds, two drummers, rhyt guitar, etc.; BUT that all for so much idle chatter to bring them around to the DEAD...here's a sampling of the comments as to why they felt the CREAM surpassed the DEAD at what I said was their own game ("the best live band, the best jam band, ever!"): First and foremost, the energy level (crap, you know how I crave that) was clearly surpassed by the 67 show by the CREAM, and the 68 comm releases as well.

Second, the overall intensity in terms of fullness of sound production, in spite of the limitation of instruments available, was given to the CREAM. It is simply astounding that though our side possessed two drummers, the overall driving force for CREAM, of GBaker, was just not nearly approached in the tunes I selected...this was also manifest in JBruce and his ability, though it might bother JOTS, to cover a range of note production that simply defies imagination. The clean sound he achieved is something that I think even Phil would/did appreciate, though ripping it up one side and down the other...Now, EClap also excels in providing more than one could have imagined for a single guitarist--whether it be a screeching lead instantaneously coupled with some sort of strumming to achieve a rasping "fill in" sound when appropriate, I dunno how, but it was done (MS? others that know how he did this?).

The only factor for which the handful of my fanbase (well, okay, there were only four individuals, ranging in age from early 60s to early 20s) conceded the DEAD had something was in the uniqueness of their jams based on songs such as the Eleven, which they just couldn't see CREAM pulling off (interesting question I suppose, eh?).

Anyhow, since this is the DEAD Forum, and my intention was in fact to show that the DEAD deserve recognition right up there with the "Super Group" of the 60s, it at least re-affirmed my love of CREAM, while providing me with even more reason to follow up on all of LiA's information on this band...

NOTE to LiA: do you in fact have a growing interest in CREAM? Or, have you already gone thru a "phase" with them and were just passing along tidbits for us? Just curious where you stand with them...I've done NOTHING in terms of researching their history and such available on the web, and really only have stuck with them over the many years due to the interest my older brothers instilled in me for them way back when, though I disappointed them by diverging to all things DEAD and largely left CREAM in the dust other than passing interest in BlFaith and the like...

Any thoughts anyone else?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: midnight sun Date: Mar 12, 2010 12:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

"EClap also excels in providing more than one could have imagined for a single guitarist--whether it be a screeching lead instantaneously coupled with some sort of strumming to achieve a rasping "fill in" sound when appropriate"

if you can provide a specific sample William i would be happy to gander a guess


a while back hippie64 made a good point about Clapton being preoccupied with the 12 bar blues form...to me, blues (fast, slow, jazzy, Memphis, Chicago...) is like eggs, you can have them fried, scrambled, poached, over easy...but in the end it is still eggs

more than anything, really appreciate Slowhand's sense of phrasing, it's like him and Allman held contests to see who could play their solo with the least number of notes

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 12, 2010 12:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Hey MS--you know me, I only know what I hear...do you have access to the 10-15-67 show of which I speak? If you do, listen to the jams on there...he does some amazing things that to my ear are just amazing for one guitar, be it blues, or R&R or whatever...as an ignoraymus, I never know what to call them...

That in fact brings up one point--the notion that we distinguish the bands by genre to me seems somewhat beside the point.

Sure, I know genres exist, but if we can't compare basic 60s bands, that for the majority of fans were "psych R&R", I don't know what we can do...is that too much to ask?

Now, to compare AmBeaut with Disr Gears, I got that: bad...but, to take that the DEAD were orig a blues band via PP, jamming for extended periods, makes them comparable to a blues based band like CREAM, at least for 67-68. Sure, the DEAD became something altogether diff, and in 68, they were changing, but so too did the blues folks at the time think that CREAM had gone to a new level, whatever it was...maybe you're right--they were still just blues, but that's not what at least the "masses" in SF area at the time would've said, or did, at least what trickled down to me...not sure that makes sense, but in some measure I am trying to put this into perspective: my two older brothers came home from CREAM concerts in an absolute frenzy, and they compared them to the other SF bands, esp the DEAD and QMS, and said, "no contest! the jams, son, the jams! just listen!"

Now of course, I didn't really, as I thought there was something much more to the Eleven than Toad or Traintime, but listening to them now, as individuals in a group at the time, I see there was really something to CREAM that I didn't appreciate at the time...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 12, 2010 2:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Slowhand certainly believed in fast playing in his Cream days!

Clapton has said that he was uncomfortable in Cream because he had to do more playing than usual - he was used to just being a 'soloist' who could just drop in - but here he had to be part of the rhythm section as well, so he had to find more ways to fill out the sound. He wasn't very satisfied with how he sounded, and wanted Winwood to join, but the other two vetoed that.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 12, 2010 6:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Well, there you go--I suppose THAT's what I was hearing! [ie, see below trying to explain to MS what I was getting at about how much ground he covers, etc.]

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 11, 2010 7:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Tush, Tell! Cream is neither a "growing interest" nor a "phase" with me. As I've said before, I was into Cream & Hendrix long before I liked the Dead.

First off, as you did, Cream should only be compared with '67/68 Dead, not with what the Dead did later - you can't measure a band that lasted 2 years with a band that lasted 30. (So, from this perspective, Cream would be ahead in terms of songwriting.)
But still a comparison is difficult - even though they're both technically "jam-bands", the styles are so different - one hard-rock sometimes verging on the Zeppelinesque, the other more mellow & trippy. Of course the early Dead did 'rock' in things like Stephen & the Eleven, but it's not quite the same as those crashing chords in White Room or Sunshine. And both bands had the heavy blues influence - the Dead did 'straighter' blues though, Cream tended to twist their sources around into new shapes.

Not to analyze too much, but I think Cream wins in terms of more energy, more playing skill, and (though this is not a fair criterion) more influence in the music world. On the other hand, the early Dead win in terms of more imagination & creativity, and the ability to develop & change over time.
They had to make a much bigger leap - 1969 Dead is nothing like 1966 Dead. The Dead in '66 were still learning their instruments, whereas the members of Cream at the time were already regarded as masters. We'll never know what 1969 Cream might've been like because they quit - they weren't able to change their live approach, but the Dead kept growing.
Another comparison, which is more subtle, is the early Dead's ability to 'say' things with their jams, using different techniques & moods in different songs. Cream shows lacked variety in comparison, though individually they could've played circles around the Dead. Cream presented themselves as stunning virtuosos (even gave themselves individual setpieces) - which was never the Dead's approach, they were more into forming a bond with each other as well as the audience. Clapton has said he was disappointed that Cream didn't seem to be learning anything from the musical world around them - which you couldn't say about the Dead.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 11, 2010 8:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Oh yeah, I knew you were into them originally from your comments, but I wanted to know if you'd begun (or already done it) an analysis anywhere close to what you've done with our boys...ie, a series of posts/blogs/notes and such, that was all I was getting at.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 12, 2010 4:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Nope. The website I linked to does it all, really.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: The_Tank_Tuba Date: Mar 12, 2010 12:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Upon further review, while the Dead's drug fueled madness actually transports me somewhere, the Cream just seems to come off as wanking.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Capt. Cook Date: Mar 11, 2010 5:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Tell, I would only say that Ginger Baker is a monster and hands down the best drummer of his era and Eric Clapton was equally able to follow into paths unknown. They had the ability to take a blues riff and completly transcend the original beat and melody in a way nobody has copied. Micky and Billy together could not do what Baker was able to see, feel, and hear. His only rivals are Tony Williams and Elvin Jones which tells you something right there. However, their songwriting talent was Zero compared to the melodies of Hunter/Garcia...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 11, 2010 8:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

I defn agree about Hunter, but that said, for what they were doing, I really like a lot of Bruce's writing...here's where I'd argue as some allude to in this thread, that it does start to be apples and oranges...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: headgdhead Date: Mar 12, 2010 10:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

I just don't see Cream as a jam band because they basicly solo off the main riff, much like a jazz band. Now don't get me wrong they are all excellent soloist but I equate jammming with all band members soloing at the same time. No one, even in 1968, did it better than the Dead. imho

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Mar 11, 2010 3:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/cream/

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Solo Head Date: Mar 12, 2010 10:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Apples and Oranges...or ...Van Gogh vs. Rueben

PS. Total consciousness at death if anyone can come up with a word that rhymes with "orange"

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 12, 2010 1:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Lozenge.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: cush212 Date: Mar 12, 2010 2:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Close... But methinks no cigar Big Fella!!!

;)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 12, 2010 2:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Hey J--did you jump in above? Were you able to see them in their prime in the LA area? Would love to get your view...

Overall, I was impressed by the amt of "love" shown for CREAM among many here, and certainly expected some exceptions, but as you and I have chatted about before, in part I do this in homage to my older bros that so influenced me, and always spoke of them as first and foremost, and then the DEAD...somewhere below Moby Grape!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: cush212 Date: Mar 13, 2010 5:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

As I have mentioned before... I wish someone at the time had said there would be quizzes on these sort of things!

I did get to hear Cream a few times, was always very intense!!! The only one I really remember as to date and venue is the farewell performance at the Forum in LA, Dec. 68 (methinks). And that mainly because I still have the ticket stub somewhere (I think, lost a lot of stuff bailing out of AZ)... Among my circle of friends back then, Cream was on the turntable more than anything else!

Your brothers did good on ya my friend! Moby Grape was probably my favorite of the SF bands at the time! I think I heard them more than the Dead back when... Been years since I've heard any of their stuff though...

:)

This post was modified by cush212 on 2010-03-14 01:39:13

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 12, 2010 2:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Damn. You know when you've been cushified.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jerrys beard Date: Mar 12, 2010 1:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Hinge? Or door hinge if you give me two words...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jerrys beard Date: Mar 11, 2010 6:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Was thinking of this topic on the way home from work after reading it the other day and listening to a really horrible "It's All Over Now" from '89 (I know we're not comparing those two eras, just my thought process).

Cream seemed always to be "on". The Dead weren't. There were good nights and bad nights, and even on the good nights, not everyone in the band was always "on". In a trio, everyone is up front, symbiotic, forcefully contributing. And Cream had three massive contributors.

Additionally, and certainly in retrospect, Cream has a more mainstream sound. They are more accessible than the Dead. Think of asking a jazz novice to choose between Pharaoh Saunders and early Miles Davis (pre-Bitches Brew). There are probably better analogies, but I hope I made my point. For many folks, the Dead are weird, and Cream aren't.

My two cents. Anyway, if you haven't heard Jack Bruce's more recent work with Robin Trower give it a listen. Interesting stuff.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: snori Date: Mar 12, 2010 3:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

I hadn't noticed them working together, thanks for pointing it out. They do seem to be enjoying themselves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgidBkqP4SM

I suppose one way of comparing these bands could be to judge their respective treatments of 'Sitting on top of the world'. I heard Cream do it before I heard the Dead version, and thought it was a mournful, ironic song done really well. The Dead do it in a kind of 'better off without you' way. On balance I'd go with Cream on this one.

This post was modified by snori on 2010-03-12 11:05:08

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jerrys beard Date: Mar 12, 2010 5:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Album is "Seven Moons"...didn't see them, but good reviews on their tour.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 11, 2010 8:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Yeah JB--I think you make excellent points, and for those that dislike comparisons (I can understand I am overdone in this respect), the point about "accessibility" probably greatly limits my little "taste test" experiment with folks...

I tried to get around that by playing CREAM's jams and not straight up "singles", but it still comes thru I think...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Mar 13, 2010 8:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

As for "Clapton then and now" thing , as one friend said cattily , "Eric needs to get back on smack, and Paul needs to go back to meat " ...
I remember showing some yuppie housewife , the Clapton section, and she asked me ,"Does he have anything as nice as the Unplugged album"... And in my mind I am thinking of that live NSU ! He is still an amazing player , but there is something of that "supper-club", Miller-Lite feel to him, and has been for MANY years . In that Cream reunion concert they put out, it is OK, but no real jams, and I sure wish he would have gone with a fatter sounding guitars of the Cream days ( SGs, Les Pauls) than the too clean Strat he played . No accident, the best thing on there , was the songs they didn't play with the original band (Pressed Rat , and a great Stormy Monday ).
I'm so glad to see all this interest in the Cream !

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Mar 12, 2010 12:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Trios seldom do much for me ( yes that inclued Hendrix and the Doors as well as Cream ). I just don't find them to be all that dynamic unless we're talking jazz piano trios

and yes I do enjoy electric Tuna

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 12, 2010 1:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Hey J--I know you don't care too much for CREAM, and hope you took my cracks in good humor...but, I must ask this: doesn't JHend with voodoo child absolutely send chills up your spine? I almost wouldn't consider you human if that weren't the case...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 12, 2010 2:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Apologies for leaping in uninvited, and for potentially being trite and cliched to boot, but wasn't Hendrix's Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock the ne plus ultra of his musical achievements?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jerrys beard Date: Mar 13, 2010 7:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Hear My Train A Comin' did it for me...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 12, 2010 2:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Some sez...did just happen to watch it, and though inspiring, VC still does it moreso for me...would put it to him for either, though--good choice!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Mar 12, 2010 2:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

For me, Little Wing sends the most shivers up my spine. Sure he could go ballistic and let loose with a torrent of notes, but when he wanted to he could slow it down and just let if flow. Gotta respect those few who can (or could) do it so well.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 12, 2010 2:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Have to say my favourite version of Little Wing was always the one on the Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert album. I guess we're kind of going in circles here...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: bluedevil Date: Mar 12, 2010 3:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Little Wing was the highlight of the show for me when EC had Derek Trucks with him 2 years or so ago (last night of that tour with Derek).


Not great clip, but gives you feel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPzZVLJGCLo

For better quality/feel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7vImjEQDVc&;feature=related



This post was modified by bluedevil on 2010-03-12 23:24:59

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Mar 12, 2010 4:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

yeah because Cassady is on bass :)

j/k of course it's a great song. Not my favorite Hendrix song. I like some Hendrix and will certainly say I get why he's probably THE greatest, I just don't find myself listening that much especially his live stuff. There's just something missing in the rhythm section for me. I like ensemble playing better than solo's maybe is what it is

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 12, 2010 4:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Ha--was gonna mention that! Amazing...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: utopian Date: Mar 12, 2010 6:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Clapton jams in 1970

http://panicstream.net/streams/eric_clapton/1970_08_23/

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Mar 11, 2010 9:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Not to pigeonhole Cream, but the Dead are not a power trio, and were never intended to be a power trio. Judged specifically as a rock band, the Dead are inferior to Cream.

But anyone who listens to the stuff available here at the LMA knows that the Dead only superficially resemble a rock band, and are in fact doing something way more devious and complex. In their jams, they are actually a jazz band working within rock structures. The more interesting comparison for me would be the 1972 Spectrum show vs. Bitches Brew, and I personally would take the Spectrum show.

A telling question, I think, is whether anyone could seriously imagine a Cream aficionado listening to hours of different live recordings of theirs day after day for years. No? Then the Dead must be doing something of more enduring interest than what Cream is doing.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 12, 2010 4:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Yeah, 9-21-72 vs. Bitches Brew would be an interesting comparison....neither of them existed when Cream was around, though! (How about 1-20-68 vs. Kind of Blue?)

Something like Cream vs. Hendrix would be much more apt. As far as the Dead, their longevity & variety heavily tilt the scales in their favor.... People do listen to nothing but the Dead for years, since there's so much of it, and it's much more subtle & welcoming than live Cream. Cream was all about pounding you into submission...and their total live repertoire was less than 20 songs. You can't really put it on repeat forever.

But another telling question is, how much Dead would people listen to if, like Cream, they'd also split up in October '68 - say, when they fired Weir & Pigpen? The first album & Anthem would be remembered as interesting SF relics. Maybe a few live shows would circulate among hardcore psych-fans.... I'm not sure they'd get much more mention than, say, Moby Grape.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 12, 2010 6:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

I do agree with you here Lou; the CREAM selections were exhausted in my little "one hour taste test audio style"...but, I suppose it's like Lia says, we'd have to restrict it to a couple of yrs to make it "fair", right? Who knows how CREAM might have evolved...maybe just a backing band for EricC's 70s style stuff--which does little for me?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 11, 2010 3:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Comparisons are odious, as we all know (which is why we refrain from pointing out the obvious superiority of a 68 vintage StSteve to a 77, for example), but just for fun, have you seen this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxvBngyvkB8&;feature=youtube_gdata

Admittedly lacking the energy of the original, but then JB wasn't 63 at the time.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 11, 2010 3:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Yikes--not this again! I refuse--utterly refuse to lay down and take it (implied "it's all good!").

Good friend, if we cannot compare supposed "super jam bands" of their time and day, what are we reduced to? All narrative? All opinion? There must, there absolutely must be something more to it than this...

Now, you know me well enough to know I am not saying we will ever arrive at "truth" (there ain't none), nor even a scale of "good to bad" and so forth...and thus, perhaps we talk past one another yet again...? But truly, I do think such exercises are about all that makes everything we do here worthwhile...well, maybe coming round to viewing you as good a friend as I've never met tops it, but you get my drift...

Thanks though for chiming in; and you too, Rich; appreciate the link!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 11, 2010 3:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Peace, aged warrior. I was taking the easy (lazy?) way out. It never was, or could be, a contest. How can you compare a power trio with a two drum, two guitar,two keyboard, and bass line up? The dynamics are totally different. But if we do have to make comparisons I'll take Billy K's rock solid control over Ginger B's beat the damn thing into submission aggression any time. Phil v. Jack is harder - but I think Phil edges it for innovative bass playing (singing is reluctantly another matter - I really miss Phil's yelps from the early years). Clapton/Garcia? How can you compare? 67/68 one was as much a force of nature as the other, but they were aiming for different things.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 11, 2010 8:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD; thanks one and all!

Sorry for the flip response--and yes, I do realize there are always apples and oranges in all of this. But you know my tendencies: comparative analysis is my bread and butter, and asking others what they think, like all the poor souls my sons bring home (to be honest, some have started to show signs they enjoy the exposure to things, amazingly, that their parents never provided...shame I say, shame on them!).

And thanks all the rest for the feedback; seems there is still quite a bit of love for CREAM amongst the DEAD fans hereabouts.

As BD and I babbled on before, if they do tour again, always worth checking out Winwood and Clapton for a Bl Faith esque taste of CREAM like sound, or maybe they'll even have another 05 reunion of the originals (as I say, I don't keep up with the news on this front so I have no clue).

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: GennyBenni Date: Mar 11, 2010 9:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

I've always felt that Clapton's playing could never touch Garcia's. Clapton, for all his technical skill, never really pulled his playing into well-crafted phrases. To me it's just lick after lick after lick.

In contrast, every note that poured out of Jerry's guitar had a place and you constantly have the sense that he is attempting to mold something over time rather than just emitting a dazzling series of notes.

This post was modified by GennyBenni on 2010-03-12 05:26:15

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 12, 2010 6:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

I can agree with that in part, BUT in some of these jams, EC does some things that are truly amazing...built around what Baker and Bruce were doing at the time, I guess what've I've come round to is seeing them as much fuller and complex than I've given them the credit for in past yrs, though I always liked CREAM...listening to these shows, they are "limited" but no more than my 68-69 era DEAD were...and thus, as LiA notes, we can't really say what CREAM might have done if they experimented together all thru the 70s or what have you...might have become really bad for all we know...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ringolevio Date: Mar 12, 2010 5:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

This!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 12, 2010 6:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Hey, on just Jack vs Phil, given Phil's long time frame, I agree, but taken in a 2 yr snap shot, the more I listen to what Jack did in some of these extended jams, adding in the singing, harmonica, kybds, and the rest, he does impress...on just bass, esp watching him on some of the docu flicks, I am not sure there isn't anything he couldn't have done if asked to play the same songs as anyone else...he really appears effortless, confident, and in complete control...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 12, 2010 8:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

"I am not sure there isn't anything he couldn't have done if asked to play the same songs as anyone else...he really appears effortless, confident, and in complete control..."

Come on. Couldn't you just as easily have said that about Phil? And let's not forget that Lesh learned the bass after joining the Dead, whereas Bruce was playing jazz bass for maybe ten years before Cream came along. Given those extra years under Bruce's belt I'd say 68 Phil holds up very well indeed against 68 Jack.

(I just had to remind myself that JB is actually the younger man, a fact that had slipped my mind, but which probably has no bearing on the discussion.)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 12, 2010 11:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Yes, I suppose this is where your apples and oranges gets in the way of the comparisons I love...sad for me, but true. Nonetheless, I charge blindly ahead, as always...

I could say that Phil's musical backgrd since the late 50s gives him a great deal to go on, just like JB. And, I do agree Phil could probably have done most anything, like JB did, in 68, but when I made that comment, I was defending JB, if you follow, since I don't think others would necessarily agree with me (ie, JOTS, Lou D, etc.).

So, they are different, surely, but the power, energy and magic that was CREAM makes me say something I never thought I would: I'd probably opt for that 10-15-67 show over my beloved 12-29-68 if I had the "time machine/one wish", and I bet you NEVER thought I'd say that!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 12, 2010 11:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Hold on there, young fella, I'm not out in the orchard now. I was attempting in my doubtless cackhanded way to attend to your wishes and make a comparison of PL and JB's bass playing (all that counts for our needs, yes?).

Lesh's background equipped him conceptually very differently to the way Bruce's background equipped him. It did not, however, give him any idea where to put his fingers on the frets to produce the notes he wanted, unlike Bruce with his ten years of jazz playing. Nonetheless, Lesh could give a pretty damn good account of himself come 68, as I think we'd both agree. Anyway, I don't think you have any need to defend Bruce; his reputation is absolutely bombproof. I look forward to celebrating Jack's 70th too.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 12, 2010 12:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Agreed.

You know, what's really sad about some of this is that with those folks that died young (legion), there are also those like JB and Gbak that somehow took a path that didn't amt to nearly as much (IMHO) as the path that allowed the likes of our boys to do so much...This kind of comparative analysis is REALLY out there, but what I am getting at, is it the case that JB and GBak were assholes, or whatever explains their inability to get along, that forced long solo careers (those that follwed them thru the 70s-90s can correct me, please!) that really didn't give them the chances that our boys had (at least I think our boys had a long, productive career, regardless of my take on post 71).

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 12, 2010 12:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Of course Bruce and Baker hated each other when they were in the Graham Bond Organisation (instrumental in Bruce leaving the group) and that antipathy never seems to have gone away entirely, even though they've collaborated a number of times over the decades (not just the Cream reunion but the Bruce Baker Moore trio, for example). As you say, I don't know of any serious falling out amongst members of the Grateful Dead. Post Dead differences of opinion are documented between Bob and Phil, but they seem to be rubbing along pretty well together now.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 12, 2010 11:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Interesting factoid linking JB & PL: JB had a liver transplant too!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: hippie64 Date: Mar 12, 2010 7:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Extended Jams? When did Jack ever jump into a peice longer then 20 minutes? Phil playing a 43 minute Dark Star into the remainder set at Cleve Convention '73 I believe places him well into the ranks as the best bass player ever . Entwhistle's Tommy set has my heart, but the sheer breadth of the DS has my reason.
As rtws stated . Its hard to compare the two. I would like to see a discussion somewhere on why Cream is considered the best power trio. Rush has that hands down. Clapton with his almighty blues chops is fine and good but Garcia would fly by the seat of his pants nite in and nite out. This is just my opinion , don't mean much.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 12, 2010 11:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

I think it matters, Hip--and yes, you can time them, but on some of these live shows, CREAM pull off some amazing, lengthy sequences, which sure, don't amt to the same as a 40 min DS, but note for note, energy for energy, I'd say a 12 jam of theirs stacks up very well against a 30 min jam of ours, esp because except in the Eleven, eg, many of our jams have a lot of "space" in them if you follow (not latter day space, just lack of intense playing...).

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: TOOTMO Date: Mar 12, 2010 6:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

I'm with you hippie64---when I think of trios, I think of Rush (even if they are Canadian!)

I'm hoping some of our musicallly-trained brethren will chim with their thoghts on Rush. And for you Rush lovers, check out
http://tela.sugarmegs.org/alpha/r.html
Scroll down to Rush 79-82 shows

So, what say you: where does Rush stand?

TOOTMO

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 13, 2010 1:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Damn, TOOTs...I didn't want to write this...I started and stopped a couple of times. I may be accessing the "wrong" stuff...I knew them well, but to be frank, the term we had for them was "70s Butt Rock" (which really meant Kansas, Boston, you get the idea), and I just lumped them in with them...that was 30 yrs ago...

So, I went to a couple of sites where you can listen to the their hits, and there were 22 of them (these guys did amass a lot of POP sentiment, I'll tell you that...sorry, but that demoted them for me). OK, I went thru all 22 of them, although only about 25 sec of each.

Every one was identical--I really mean I'd flip between them and not be able to tell I had!...does only one guy sing? And none of them featured ANY thing along the line of instrumentation, so I assume I'd have to dig deeper...

Sorry to be so anti Rush, but boy, I just don't see it...and, you know, I love Canadians, eh? Truly.

Splain some more to me, cause I don't get it...

This is NOT meant to be a Rush Bash, and I hope no one joins in except to explain what I am missing that for folks that I value (ie, we share the DEAD for crying outloud), what is missing for me--is it my geezer status or something? Just too old?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: TOOTMO Date: Mar 13, 2010 1:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Billy T.,
I'm hearin' ya but I'm fixinta head to NYC tomorrow and cannot go into the detail that I need at this moment.

Currently, I have the family convinced that we need to go to the NY Historical Society on Wed. (I hope I can keep a straight face when I "exclaim" "Would ya lookey there? It appears they got some kind of GD display goin' on---imagine that. What are the odds of that, Honey?")

And, since I am not a prolific contributor of much that is useful here, I have decided that my atonement for past transgressions will be a full-blown, honest, review of the NY archive. Will try to put it by next weekend. Till then, this is the TOOTMO over and out.


Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 13, 2010 2:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Thx toots! Have a great time--hey, my kids may help out; they say I have to get their live stuff and that they are really good musical sorts...they said the "hits" just weren't my style, so that may be all it is...

Waiting to be schooled! Thanks for the help!

WT

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: hippie64 Date: Mar 12, 2010 7:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

To start with , besides Robert Hunters lyrics, I would have to place Neil"s close to the top of the heap for me. And his drumming , OMFG are you kidding me? Really the best in ALL facets of drum kit expertise. Don't you think.
By the ways Rush would layer there music, Alex I think does it extremely well, Its a very new age feel(?), if you catch my meaning. Its not born to the blues, its way more progressive, yet rocks old school.. Geddy , For a funnny looking dude, He can get real busy on stage, Back in the early daze, that fender precision is almost as big as him.But the most ass kickin about Gedddy is what most people don't like and thats his voice. I love it! I seen the snakes and Arrows tour a few times and , The guy still has it! beltin' it out like it was 1977. WE ARE THE PRIEST OF THE TEMPLES OF SYRINX !!!! fucking the greatest power trio (barring The Experience) ever to step foot om stage.

That of course is my opinion

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billydlions Date: Mar 12, 2010 6:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Rush was an amazing band in the early 80's. Has there ever been a better drummer? Exit Stage Left was in regular rotation when I was a kid and I still listen occasionally. So I agree with you, although it's hard to compare with Cream since they weren't around very long. Both bands did manage to have such a full sound for only 3 members (although Geddy Lee was like 2 people)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: TOOTMO Date: Mar 12, 2010 6:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

You definitely need to check out that Sugarmegs link if you like Exit Stage Left. These concerts are much more raw.


TOOTMO

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 13, 2010 2:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Hey BD--if you see this, read above and help me out perhaps with a link or some such? Thanks for the tolerance...

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 13, 2010 4:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

Ah duh! Didn't even think of that possibility! But, better to have suggestions from a fan.

Thanks, B!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: snori Date: Mar 11, 2010 3:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

I was into Cream when they started through to when they split up and still admire both their studio work (here I think they win), and their live shows.

Cream jamming is nothing like the journey the Dead take you on. True the energy levels are high, but apart from moving from intense to relaxed and back again it's more about dexterity than imagination. And good though it is, it's driven by competition rather than co-operation.

Dead win, but bonus point to Cream for having a bass player who can sing.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 11, 2010 8:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CREAM vs the DEAD

"...bass player that can sing..."

Great! You know, he really had range--my understanding is that he had classical training, whatever that means, and besides playing lots of instruments, could put together amazing harmonies and lead vocals via studio efforts...